Plays of the Day from Day 2
A third No 4
South Africa keeps tinkering with the batting order. They desperately need an opening batsmen and while that is still the case it puts pressure on the rest of the order. Temba Bavuma became the third batsmen to occupy the crucial No 4 spot on Saturday.
The out-of-sorts JP Duminy made 15 and 2 at Lord’s, Quinton de Kock has posted scores of 68 and 1 at Trent Bridge and 17 and 5 at The Oval.
Right now, Bavuma is probably a better option there, simply because his technique is tighter and he seems to have a better game plan. Where he needs improvement is increasing the rate at which he scores, but it’s an option worth retaining for the South African season.
A peach in the first innings at The Oval, then he was worked over in the second innings there and here Hashim Amla was out caught down the legside of Roland-Jones. Three times in a row, the same bowler, it’s starting to feel like Australia last season, where Amla lost his wicket to Josh Hazlewood five times in a row.
Still no luck for Morkel
Roland-Jones gets Amla’s wicket with a nothing ball yesterday and Morkel bowls ‘jaffa’ after ‘jaffa’ to beat the outside edge. When he finds the edge, De Kock doesn’t move to catch it, while other edges fly into gaps or over the slips.
Morkel gets just two wickets and you must wonder which of the cricketing gods he angered and how long before his debt’s been repaid.
“I think think they should consider split coaching because it’s an almost impossible job for one man to do these days. If you have a red-ball coach and a white-ball coach, it allows the respective candidates to have some time away because travelling for 200 days a year is tough, but it also gives more opportunity to watch more domestic cricket and to assess players.” – Graeme Smith weighs in on the SA team coaching saga.
Warmer than forecast yesterday and the pitch played well, although there remains assistance for the bowlers as Anderson showed in the evening. With more sun forecast for today, expect the pitch to dry out further, and that brings Moeen into play for the remainder of the game.